Access Bank Upbeat to promote Green Bond Issuance – Access Bank has described green bond issuance as an economic exercise that is targeted towards infrastructure development, and that the bank has been involved in various forms of sustainability practices that contribute to the quality of environment on a long-term basis.
Deputy Managing Director of the bank, Roosevelt Ogbonna, disclosed this at the Nigerian Green Bond Market Development Programme launch organised by FMDQ in Lagos on Thursday.
He said the bank in the last ten year have been contributing meaningfully to issued relating to the environment through strategic investments in communities.
His words: “Access Bank is determined to continue to create meaningful impact around the world and its subsidiaries by increasing awareness of best sustainable practices that can be implemented within our industry.
“As the world advances we can see that sustainability is the future, we promise to continue to be the face of social and environmental development; as well as facilitate an economy that is all inclusive and progressive. We have initiatives put in place to drive the level of engagement and systems designed to generate more ideas that will strengthen the sustainable agenda of the Nigeria economy.”
He added that learning from interactions would promote the bank’s business strategies to provide more valuable solutions that empower the people and communities it serves.
Greg Jobome, Executive Director, Risk Management of the bank, said the bank has identified green bond as one of the avenues to realise the sustainable development goals.
“We have been in it for a while. We were once green, then brown and now to green again. The time to do something is now huge. There is much to do and we must start now.
“In our bank, we have a frame work to guide green bond. We have trained about 12 people and we have investment in it. We also have a sustainability team as well as an environment risk team. I can say that in Access Bank, we are ready and poised to take advantage of green bond”, said Jobome.
Also speaking at the launch, Ms. Mary Uduk, Acting Director-General, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), said the commission is currently concluding arrangements to unveil rules that will encourage green bond issuance in the country in order to deepen the green bond market.
She said the rules would make the bonds issuance attractive to both the governments and corporate organisations. Green bonds are fixed income, liquid financial instruments used to raise funds dedicated to climate mitigation, adaption and other environment-friendly projects.
They provide investors with an attractive investment proposition and an opportunity to support environmentally and socially sound project. Uduk said that the commission was in the process of approving green bonds rules, noting that it would be released to the market in no distant time. “We are in the process of approving the rules and any moment from now it will be released to the market,” she said.
Uduk said that the rules were gathered from input by stakeholders and participants in the market. She added that the commission would come up with a framework that would guide the market to deepen green bonds issuance in Nigeria.
Ms Justine Leigh-Bell, Director, Market Development, Climate Bonds Initiative, in her presentation at the event said global green bond issuance hit a record $155.5 billion in 2017, surpassing previous estimates, and could reach between $250 billion and $300 billion this year.
She added that Issuance last year was 78 per cent higher than 2016’s $87.2 billion and well above the CBI’s estimate in December of $130 billion.
She, however, disclosed that there were ten new entrants to the market last year: Argentina, Chile, Fiji, Lithuania, Malaysia, Nigeria, Singapore, Slovenia, Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates.
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